Syllabus: General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics)
Can private ethical behaviour be separated from social ethics without consequences? Give your opinion with examples.
Each private and personal relationship has its own irreplaceable value. Each of it has its own unique history, character, and set of implicit and explicit understandings about what is to be expected of the parties to it.
Private and Public ethics
Public relations involve relation between individual in public sphere. Public relationships are governed by many aspects. They may or may not be inherited. Many a times, they comprise complex situations, contradictory values and conflict of role and interest. Seven principles of public life are selfless, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. Ethics in private relations helps in humanizing public relations and play an important role in forming the base for moral values of a person.
- The private relationships demand individual’s responsibilities towards the role played in private life such as father, mother, husband, etc. These are self-imposed and voluntary and are backed by sanctions of one’s obligations towards self, family and society since ancient times.
- For example, in India, the Dharmashashtras provide moral codes to regulate the private relations.
- Public servants play conflicting role due to conflict in private life and public life. Conflict between ethics in both relations may lead to unrest, guilt, dissonance and confusion in the mind of the concerned person.
- The public servant needs to cope with several roles altogether. This includes role in private life, role in personal and family sphere, role as a professional, role for job, role towards his / her area of jurisdiction, role towards seniors and society / humanity at large.
- The public service role invokes legal and constitutional obligations, which when violated invite legal sanctions and penalties. Thus, a public servant needs to cope with these different roles which many a times conflict with each other.
- Sometimes laws conflict with individual’s morals and values for instance stealing is a crime but a child might be stealing food because he/she is hungry. So internal conflict arises.
Humans have diverse role in society. The role playing defines their role in society. With each social role, one adopts one’s behaviour changes befitting the expectation of one’s own self and of other. Even though there might be different standards with regards to both set of ethics. It is imperative that the civil servant abide by the rules of the organization instead of portraying his inner prejudices.
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